Archive for the ‘project’ Tag
For some reason I seem to be on a Norton kick at this time. I want one. That big long stroke motor, watching the front wheel shake at stop lights…wait a minute, we’re heading into a way different topic of discussion here…uh, back to motorcycles.
I think the main reason I’m on this Norton kick is because my friends at ‘Left Coast Racing’ and I are getting ready for another Bonneville LSR run in couple of months with a pair of Norton’s. We currently hold a Land Speed Record with a rather built up 1959 Norton.
The very first Norton I ever took for a ride was a ‘rode hard and put away wet’ 750 Commando back in the early 70′s that my step dad rescued from some guys back yard. It was a lot different from the BSA’s and Triumph’s I had been riding, and honestly…at that time, I liked my Lightning 650 a lot better. But, being the good motorcycle souls that we were, we went about resurrecting it…a project that took over a year and a lot more money than my mom knows about.
During that same time, we were also upgrading a Triumph Bonneville from a standard 650cc to a Weslake 750 model (again, another story for anther time…and a really good one??). The Commando rebuild was a lot easier thanks to people like Brian Slark, Domiracer and Berliner. At the end of the year both motorcycles were finished, broken in appropriately and then taken out for a proper thrashing…Sunday morning on Angeles Crest Highway.
I fell in love with the Norton. Up to that time my motorcycling life had been with high revving two strokes, and somewhat high revving (by then current standards) English and Japanese twins, the Norton was a different feeling altogether. Where my BSA would feel light at the bars, the Norton was dead steady, the BSA needed some revs to get off a corner quickly, the Norton just needed a nudge on the throttle…the BSA needed you to pay attention, the Norton just went along with however you were riding that day (even with a minor (major) hangover).
The Norton was sold to a friend of a friend of a friend or their third cousin by marriage twice removed (no Alabama jokes here…) and was never seen again. I had grown to love that motorcycle and was sad to see it leave the garage…the guy didn’t even ride it home, he put it in a pick up truck!??? After all the work we did?… and he didn’t even live 20 miles away!! This was way before the days of ebay and buying a motorcycle on the other side of the world was easy.
So today, while working on our other websites, http://www.ilovecaferacers.com and http://www.themotoworld.com and cruising ebay looking for yet another project bike for a friend, I came upon a very nice Norton that is ready to ride and has some very nice bits and pieces.
This is a 1974 850 Commando that is a runner but…it has been sitting for years according to the owner so if you buy this bike you really need to go through the carbs, change the fluids, probably the tyres…all the standard stuff but I think this bike will be well worth the effort.
The bike has been outfitted with the Dunstall bits that really make it great, starting with the Dunstall 2 into 1 into 2 exhaust system. This exhaust is worth the price of admission alone, it is a work of art in every respect…performance and looks. The beautiful tank and that very slim front fender (I put one of those on the front of my H2, it was pretty worthless as far as fenders go, but I loved how it looked), the 850 also has what looks to me like Lester mag wheels. This Norton only has only 8800 miles on the clock and like I said before, with just some standard service, should be a wonderful ride.
Click on the pics below for more pictures and a little more info. This is a great bike for the money.
This is an interesting, and low priced, Suzuki T500 in need of a bit of work to get it ready for either the street or a track day. The seller claims it is fast and “runs/rides well”. The neatest thing about the bike is the bodywork. While the seller thinks it is original Reed Titan bodywork, I would tend to believe that at this price and condition that it is replica fiberglass. It needs some work and parts to be fully rideable (missing front master cylinder being the most obvious thing), but it is 95% complete. Check out the listing to get more details.
The auction still has almost 10 days left at this point, and the starting bid is $999. Interestingly, it has a Buy-It-Now of only $1,999. This seems like it might make this bike a really good deal, but it also speaks to the fairly beat-on bodywork and the need for some work before riding. It will be interesting to see what happens with this auction as it moves towards completion…
This is a kind of interesting auction. While neither bike is a specifically a built cafe racer, a guy in Ohio is auctioning off this pair of RD400 Daytona Specials. The one that’s a runner appears to be in good shape with a number of new parts, while the fixer/parts-bike has a bunch of included parts that need to be installed (or it needs to be parted out). It seems to me that a good end for this auction would be if the winner rode the bike that’s running, and converted the rough fixer into a cafe. And then they sent some pics to the blog.
I’ve been trying to be nice lately. Really. Haven’t you been able to tell? But I can hold back no longer…
There are three things wrong with this bike. I’ll take the flack if you disagree. First, the seller is unclear on whether or not the bike is a 1978 or a 1979. Maybe that doesn’t matter from a technical standpoint, but it does from a “seller knowing his sh!t” standpoint. Secondly, there is no paperwork to go along with the bike. That can make it difficult to register (especially here on the left coast). Thirdly, the seat. Do I need to spell it out? The TL1000R seat is just wrong. It was iffy on the actual TL1000R, and here it is just not right. The stock seat would be better. A pillow seat would be… well, not better, but not worse.
I get the fact that all of us trying to build cafe-styled bikes makes choices as we design the final look, but this feels more like someone who had an extra TL1000R seat sitting in the garage. That reminds me, I’ve got a TZ250 GP seat in my garage that I just might mount on the ’05 Sportster. I’ll post a pic if I do it.
I’m not even going to attempt to claim any knowledge about the combination of motor and frame in this eBay listing for a BSA project bike. It is supposedly a 1970 frame (B441 of some type) along with a motor from 1967. The VINs are in the last two photos, so check it out if you are interested in bidding. There are 4 hours left in the auction, and the price is just under $1K with 1 bid.
Here’s a nice little project bike that is already generating some interest in bids. It’s a 1963 BSA B40 that has been outfitted with a B44 motor. It is in need of finishing (hence Project Bike in the title of the post), but appears to be a relatively easy bike to complete. The seller claims the engine is running with all wiring in place, but I would ask questions before buying this bike.
Luckily, you have lots of time to ask questions as there are still over 6 days left in the auction. The price has already gone above $400 from a starting price $1, although reserve has not been met. And there are three people bidding so far. Perhaps this little beezer will generate a fair bit of interest…
If you are looking for a decent starting point for a cafe racer project, this might be a good bike to begin your work. It’s a 1973 Honda CB750 that is basically stock and in good shape. The seller provided a good list of his recent upgrades to the mechanicals, so I just cut and pasted the list shown below. There are a few more pictures on eBay of some of the details on the bike, but these give you an overall idea of what this bike has in store for you…
I don’t know if this bike is going to sell or not. It has zero bidders with just over a day left in the auction, but the starting price is at $2,500. Buy-It-Now is set at $3,200. If everything works as stated by the seller, this bike appears to be in line with what a decent CB750 is currently worth. I’d love to see pics of this bike after it gets the cafe treatment…
Had a Honda mechanic replace all the gaskets in the upper half of the engine. Head gasket, valve cover gasket, etc…
Carbs have been cleaned, rebuilt and synched
Valves have been timed
Gas tank has been lined
New OEM petcock fuel valve
Clutch has been rebuilt with OEM Honda parts, OEM clutch cable is new also
Brakes have been serviced and checked out
Original air box replaced with pod filter, carbs were re-jetted at this time with 120′s, i also have the original air box with a new K&N filter
Rear fender has been removed and replaced with a fender eliminator kit and LED rear light. Looks great on the bike. Turn signals were flush mounted and look better this way
New EMGO rear shocks have been added to replace the originals that were pretty useless. I still have them though
Low (super) bars have been added to give it more of the cafe racer look. Note- these are not “clubman” bars because i found them to be uncomfortable
Added a headlight visor to front light
Original chain has been replaced with an o-ring chain
New battery added last summer
Original paint on the gas tank (pretty sure side covers are repro)
I have the original tool kit and original manual from Honda
I also have 3 additional manuals, including the official Honda service manual which is amazing
Tires have plenty of tread on them
Electric ignition and kick start both work great
All lights, guages and electronics function perfectly
Sometimes, bikes on eBay seem to come in waves. Yesterday, it was the guy dumping Moto Guzzi’s on the auction world. Today is apparently XS650 day. This Yamaha is a very clean example of a cafe racer build that has just about everything done right. Clubman bars, rear-sets, a cafe seat, an exhaust, and classic paint all complete an overall look that is just right. Is the fairing too much for you? You can always take it off the bike if you win the auction.
From the listing, the following items are new on the bike: WHEEL BEARINGS, STEERING HEAD BEARINGS, TIRES, TUBES, SPOKES AND BRAKES, PROGRESSIVE SHOCKS, SWING ARM BEARINGS, REGINA CHAIN, SUNSTAR SPROCKETS, 2.9 GALLON FUEL TANK, CAFE STYLE SEAT, REAR SETS, MINI FAIRING, FRONT AND REAR TURN SIGNALS, HEADLIGHT, CLUBMAN BARS. It also has XS750 dual discs, rebuilt carbs, and a partially rebuilt motor (gaskets and valves).
Currently, the auction is at $2,500 with only 1 bidder and about a day and a half left. However, reserve hasn’t been met yet, so the price will have to go a bit higher before there is a winner. This is a nice example of the Yamaha XS650, so it should go higher and hopefully the seller doesn’t lower reserve.
If you’re looking for a good starting point for a cafe racer project, this might be just the ticket. It’s being auctioned on eBay, although the price is a bit high. However, the seller is stating what needs to be done to it (wheel and steering bearings), so if you were to utilize the Best Offer function, you might be able to get the bike for well less than the $2,900 asking price. Ask questions of this 100% Feedback seller ahead of time if you have questions about anything not mentioned in the listing…
Up for auction on eBay is this Moto Guzzi that is going to need a bit of work in the cosmetics department. Given the lack of description and the high starting price, it isn’t too surprising that there are zero bidders and the price is $3,995. Reasons for this probably include the cracked fins on the heads, and the bike’s origins as a supposed race bike. If it still had the straight-cut gears and the Dellorto carbs, that might be a little better. Actually, it may still have the race gearbox, but the seller doesn’t really know.
I guess the final analysis of this bike would say that it is a good example of an eBay bike that the buyer should investigate further before placing a bid. Given that there is only an hour left in the auction it is likely that we will see it pop up again for sale…